An Easy Recipe to Make Instagram Videos That Get Shared
Instagram is one of the most visited social platforms in the world, and as such, it's an indispensable tool that neither marketers nor content creators can afford to ignore.
However, like every major social network, Instagram has its own distinctive traits that influence its systems, algorithms, tools… But most of all, the content consumption preferences of its users.
And if you want to make Instagram videos people will want to share with others, you need to use those preferences in your favor!
This article will break down some of those essential points to consider when creating live-action and animated video content for Instagram to hopefully help readers build video campaigns that reach their goals quickly and effectively.
Let's jump into it!
1. Start by Setting a Clear Goal for Your Video
When creating a video for your Instagram profile, you’ll have some practical constraints, like a specific length and a budget. So, being very clear about your goal before getting down to work will save you time, money, and headaches.
Ask yourself what you are trying to accomplish with your video — gaining or reaching a certain number of followers? Promoting a product or service? Directing traffic to the rest of your online presence?
Whatever it is, it's critical to be specific enough about these goals, as many of the decisions you will have to make next will depend on what you want to achieve by posting a video on Instagram in the first place.
2. Figure out Who you are Trying to Reach
Once your goal is clear, you must determine the audience you want to speak to.
If you don't know where to start, we highly recommend that you first find your niche on the platform. A segment of a larger market that can be defined by its own unique identity or a targeted area that you fit in particularly well.
To find this segment, you can monitor popular interest in events and hashtags related to your niche. Or you can even take a look at your competitors' followers (why not?) to define your audience.
When detailing the target of your content, you should also consider factors such as age, gender, interests, location, and so on. But remember that too much segmentation can give you analysis paralysis, so don’t overdo it!
3. Choose the Type of Instagram Video that Best Suits Your Needs
When we talk about Instagram videos, we can't refer to a single format. This platform has several channels to post videos, which gives you a lot of flexibility to create content that matches the channel's strengths and has better chances of resonating with its intended audience.
Currently, Instagram has five ways to serve videos: Feed video, Stories, IGTV, Reels, and Instagram Live. Each one has its characteristics, and you will have to decide which one suits your goal best with each upload.
Let's see them in a bit more detail.
Instagram Feed Videos
This is Instagram's original video posting channel. Just like a photo, Feed videos are added to your profile's main feed and are capped at a length of 60 seconds. You can record videos within the platform itself or upload them from your video library for people to comment, like, share, and share via DMs.
Given that this content defines your profile and is permanent, you should keep a high-quality production standard for it. Also, you should post periodically for better engagement.
Instagram stories are 15-second videos placed at the top of the home feed and disappear 24 hours later, making them perfect for creating fast and captivating content. With Stories, you can relax a bit and upload more casual content that promotes more spontaneous interactions between your followers and your brand.
Having said all that, Instagram Stories require a lot of attention and constant updating because it’s what users see the most on the platform. In fact, more than 500 million people watch stories every day! And 58 out of 100 people surveyed say their interest in a brand or product increased after seeing them in stories.
Instagram TV, commonly styled as IGTV, is Instagram's space for videos longer than one minute (up to a 60-minute limit). It's a great place to share more polished and carefully planned content and present your brand or products in depth.
In this format, Instagram provides valuable tools to improve audience engagement, like adding a cover photo or sharing a series of educational whiteboard videos your audience would find useful. You can also choose to post a 15-second preview on your feed, which will help grab users' attention.
Inspired by the TikTok phenomenon, Reels is the latest addition to Instagram. It's a format for sharing videos 15-to-30 seconds long that can be created with the platform's camera or uploaded from your video gallery.
Reels' algorithm is designed to appeal to a global public, so it's very useful for reaching new audiences and growing your scope.
Instagram lets you customize this content with effects such as timed text, AR filters, speed control, thousands of different audios, and even green screen mode. So, it's excellent for creating fun content or joining trends that may be very helpful as a spearhead to promote your brand.
Last but not least, Instagram Live is the platform’s space for you to stream video.
Instagram Live broadcasts can last up to four hours, and up to four devices can participate by going live simultaneously. Therefore, it's a fantastic space to connect with your audience in real-time.
4. Optimize Before Uploading
A video alone can only do so much. So, to achieve greater engagement from your followers, you must optimize your content.
First of all, you should add a call to action to your videos. Let your followers know what they can do or where they can go once they are done watching your content. CTAs can be as simple as just asking viewers to share your content or suggesting them to visit your profile link!
Another effective way to optimize your videos is to add transcriptions and tags. This way, Instagram's algorithm will better understand the subject of your videos, and the content will have more opportunities to position among your chosen audience.
You can also use other outreach strategies, such as promotions and giveaways, as incentives to have people engaging and sharing your videos.
Last but certainly not least, make the most out of the first frames of your videos!
The first few seconds are the most important moments of your content, as viewers take just a couple of seconds to decide whether to keep watching or keep scrolling. So, always make sure the beginning of your video draw the users' attention and gives them a reason to stay until the end.
5. Analyze the Results and Iterate!
The last step to get the most out of your videos and make them relevant to the audience is taking a look at your Instagram analytics, which can help you understand how your content behaves once uploaded.
By analyzing who watched your videos, how long they stayed, how they engaged, among other data, you will be able to know which topics or strategies are resonating the most with your audience.
With this essential information, you will know with utter precision which approaches are better for your strategy, so you can substantially improve your future videos’ engagement.
It's also recommended that you always pay attention to the qualitative information users leave in the comments section or direct messages. Even though moderation tools are notoriously limited in social media platforms, you can get a lot of valuable intel to inform your approach.
All this knowledge, along with the quantitative data, will be the best feedback you will have, so pay attention.
Let's Do It!
Videos are an extremely reliable way to improve your presence on Instagram precisely because they offer an appealing way to showcase the best of yourself (or your brand) to your followers. Don't miss out!
If you have read this far, it means you have a great interest in improving your stand on this social network. Staying up-to-date with Instagram can make all the difference when setting up your digital strategy.
With this information, you will have better tools to start making Instagram videos that help you achieve the objectives within this great platform. So get started creating without delay. Good luck!